Grandparent with a Purpose
(Reprinted from Significant Living magazine)
I received the special gift of grandparenting as I approached my midlife season. It was exciting to become a grandparent! However, I learned that along with this gift came a sacred trust to imprint another generation with the message of God’s faithfulness. Reflecting on my new responsibility, I realized my prayers were too general and vague and I became frustrated with how I was praying for my grandchildren.
After I asked God for wisdom and read several books about prayer, my praying changed dramatically. I discovered God’s Word was a great resource to help me with my praying, not only for my family, but also for myself.
In Hebrews 4:12 we read, “The Word of God is full of living power.” When I pray according to God’s Word, I am in line with His will, enabling me to pray with direction, power, and wisdom.
I not only find myself in intimate communication with God, but my mind is renewed to think His thoughts about the situation for which I am praying, instead of my own thoughts. Ultimately, God shrinks the situation that I thought was overwhelming and impossible into a viable possibility. He gives me peace as I wait for His answer.
As I started claiming God’s promises and personalizing the scriptures, I experienced more boldness and confidence in my praying. Nothing threatens the enemy (Satan) more than when we are intentionally praying God’s Word for our children, grandchildren, and ourselves. Many scriptures in Psalms, Proverbs, the gospels, and Paul’s writings can be used in our prayers.
While surfing on the Internet looking for help in my praying, God directed me to the Christian Grandparenting Network. After sharing my passion with them, they invited me to become their National Prayer Coordinator, writing devotionals and prayer suggestions on their website.
Christian Grandparenting Network (CGN) is devoted to challenging Christian grandparents to live intentionally as representatives of Christ for future generations. It is committed to providing a network of resources and opportunities for grandparents to have powerful opportunities for inter-generational dialogue to strengthen grandparent-grandchild relationships and spiritual growth.
We live in a time when the darkness of sin and unrighteousness ravages our land seeking to capture the minds and hearts of our youth and young families. The enemy is determined to steal their faith and the plans God has for them. The enemy’s attacks against our families and our nation’s moral foundations are relentless. It is urgent that grandparents stand in the gap praying for the spiritual, emotional, and physical protection of these who are under attack and CGN can help them do that.
I found a letter in my family archives, written by my great-grandfather in Poland, addressed to my grandfather who had immigrated to America. In the letter, he wrote that he was praying for my grandfather, his children, and his future generations. It was a special blessing for me to see in writing that my great-grandfather prayed for me before I was born.
A few years ago on a sunny autumn day, my husband and I were traveling in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Mesmerized by the reflections of the rugged snow-covered mountains and golden aspen trees on a pristine lake, I could not help but ask myself: Do my children and grandchildren see God’s love reflected in my life in the same way? Do they see Jesus in me?
Pondering the answer to this question led me to realize that the sun must shine on the water to create a reflection. In order for God’s love to reflect from my life, the love of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, must shine in my heart.
My great-grandfather’s prayers had a ripple effect on my grandparents, my parents, my life, my children, and my grandchildren. If you did not have a Christian heritage, you have the privilege of starting the ripples in your family. God has given us the awesome opportunity to partner with Him on behalf of these dear ones as prayer warriors. As we get older and face physical limitations, we might feel less useful. Yet God has a purpose for us for these times—to be front-line prayer warriors for our grandchildren. A note from my oldest granddaughter confirms that praying for my precious grandchildren is never a wasted effort.
She writes: “Your phone calls, cards, and e-mails were encouraging and made a significant impact on my life, especially in my teenage and college years. Your prayers and encouragement have been rock-solid reminders of God’s truth in my incredible, crazy life-shaping years, and now in my married life. Your prayers help me surrender the craziness of my life to God.”
Her words warmed my heart; I felt like she had given me a beautiful bouquet of roses making my efforts significant.
My husband and I thank God he has given us an opportunity to be prayer warriors for our nine grandchildren. Serving Him in this way and leading the cause through CGN’s prayer ministry has given my life fulfillment and significance. May the light of the Son reflect in you, and may you know the delight of serving as God’s prayer warrior for another generation.
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National Prayer Coordinator
Lillian Ann Penner is the author of Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren, speaker, National Prayer Coordinator for Christian Grandparenting Network, directing the Grandparents@Prayer groups. She and her husband, John, have been married over 50 years and currently reside in Portland, OR. They have three married sons and nine grandchildren, who are the love of their life.
Lillian has been active in church ministry for over 50 years, led a mentoring ministry for women, participated in short term mission’s trip in Ukraine, and volunteered with several Christian ministries. Currently, she is involved in the leadership of a women’s Bible study and the 55+ group in her church. She blogs on several websites, as well as her own on (www.grandparentingwithapurpose.com).